Thursday, 3 January 2013

Dear Emily

Chelsea 0 Queens Park Rangers 1

Dear Emily, Queen of the Park Rangers,

I am sorry for the late reply. As you probably know I get so tired delivering presents and sorting out other football fan wishes that after the 25th I just spend my time chillaxing in front of the telly and playing computer games. It was a bit of a surprise to receive it and I needed time to digest the information. I wanted to thank you for the biscuits and the milk but sadly haven't been able to eat a lot as I've been on my yearly diet (wifey tells me I'm fatter than ever now and isn't best pleased, even if I am getting more organic food nowadays). I also received the big red bus, which is parked just outside the house here.

Anyway, back to your letter. I must admit that I was a little upset to have received the requests so late in the day. While the gifts are great the other fans do send me their requests a lot earlier and they tend to send me a lot more. So, to answer your questions, that has meant that I have favoured the other promoted teams (i.e. Swansea and Norwich). What can I do? It's a cluttered market out there, and volume and creativity stand out. However, having thought about it over my dinner that night it is true that the big teams obviously have more 'supporters' so I notice their messages more (hence why it's always the 'big ones' at the top of the table). And it is also true that over the years I haven't really had that many requests from QPR fans. Like you say, it seems that QPR fans possess a masochistic quality, and perhaps a fear of asking for something they feel they don't deserve? Bearing all of this in mind,  and bearing in mind all the pain that QPR fans have been going through, as well as the fact that you were very creative with the double-decker bus, I resolved to help you with some of your requests.

You are right, there was no way I could organise to help for the Liverpool game. And so you see, the Rangers were bound to lose quite badly, because, as you rightly pointed out you were on a bit of a downhill slope after a poor couple of results over the Christmas period. And it looked as if some players were still not putting a shift in. The match was beamed live on Santa TV here and I watched it because of your letter. And I am sorry that it was so bad. But I noticed that you, Emily, left very early on in the game. That was very unlike you and I would have normally written you off my list for next year, but the performance was so poor I completely understand why you felt so angry for the first time in a long time.

As you know, we are already in the January transfer window, and to start off, I am in conversations with various agents about taking on some of your players on loan in order to train them with my reindeer here in the North Pole. There's nothing I'd like more than to show Jose Bosingwa what really hardcore training is in sub-zero, arctic temperatures. I cannot promise that the deals will push through but what I can promise is that Harry Redknapp and I see eye to eye when it comes to 'mopers' and lazy people. So he will continue to fine and reprimand those who simply do not show a willingness to perform or fight for the honourable QPR badge. On that note, I am pleased to say that DJ Campbell is indeed heading back to his club. I can see that this has already buoyed up the fans over the last day or so. Whether he plays this Saturday in the cup game I am not sure, but he certainly is the type of player you need and is in good form right now.

On the point about the QPR media team, go easy on them Emily. They have a tough job dealing with all sorts of abuse from irate fans on a regular basis. And they can't help that they support a different football team. In time, I promise that there will be more people who QPR supporters AND are qualified for the job working within the QPR PR machine. For now, try to appreciate the job that they do and the pressure they are under to get news out to fans quickly. Anyway, at the end of the day, if there were no media team, there would doubtless be something else the fans would direct their anger towards. That's just the way the football biscuit crumbles I'm afraid.

Interestingly, you didn't ask me for a better performance from the current set up of players. Even though your last note came before the 3-0 thrashing by Liverpool it came across to me as rather despondent and resigned. You asked me to give you some entertaining football at Loftus Road and that was it. I thought that was rather sad (and I refer back again to my point about masochistic QPR fans). So I started studying QPR history and noticed that the next match was away at Stamford Bridge. I learned that Chelsea were your fiercest rivals, and that you hadn't had a win away since 2011! And if there is one thing that Santa can conjure up, it's a little bit of a surprise. So I made sure that Rafa (who I notice has had just as many biscuits as me this Christmas) had picked a second choice starting line up, and I had a chat with Harry about the double-decker bus which you had given me and said 'Park that bus 'Arry, this match means a lot to Rangers fans'. Seems I didn't need to - he said to me 'Santa, I haven't won here myself for ages, and I know just how much this means to QPR fans. I'm a London boy after all.'

So there you have it, last night I pulled out the stops to surprise everyone by getting 'non-favourite' Shaun Wright-Phillips to score a goal, away from home, at Stamford Bridge, and against Chelsea. I even made sure that everyone had a good time on the tube ride home - didn't it feel like there were more QPR fans than Chelsea fans? (Oh, and by the way, I've also invited that annoying announcer for an arctic 'training camp' to join his buddy Bosingwa).

You knew I could never promise that you wouldn't be relegated so you didn't ask me for it. And this is still true. But now I hope I have at least provided you with a story you will one day tell your children. And that you will be able to enthral them with this story about the magic of football which you almost forgot existed (I heard you say 'lambs to the slaughter' several times yesterday!).

Now, I will head back to hibernation mode and will leave QPR, you and all the other QPR fans to build on this positive result if you can.

I will keep an eye out for you this year, and wish you all the best.



Encl. One Big red double-decker bus (returning this in case you need it against West Brom on Saturday), and a sprinkling of magic.

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